Sometimes, as a home owner, it can feel as though your house is in constant need of repair. From dealing with issues like a leaky toilet or faucet, to staying on top of the wear-and-tear a busy family home receives, it can be exhausting and overwhelming to maintain a house.
Here are some ridiculously easy home repair tips that just about anyone can accomplish by using everyday items you probably have around the house.
Use Crayons To Fill In Nail Holes
Choose a crayon that closely matches the color of the wall you’re repairing. With firm pressure, rub the crayon over the nail hole. It’s like coloring on the walls—but for adults!
Use Ice Cubes To Clean Your Garbage Disposal
This is one you’ll want to run and try right now. You probably know that a lemon rind in your garbage disposal will leave it smelling fresh, but did you know that ice cubes really do the trick when it comes to getting the grinders clean? Try adding in a cup of ice cubes and letting them grind before running hot water and adding in citrus peels for freshness.
Drill A Hole In Your Trash Can Liner To Fight Suction
If you have a trash can with a liner in your kitchen, you know the pain of trying to remove a full bag without it tearing and garbage spilling everywhere. Combatting the suction generated between the bag and liner can help. All you need to do is drill a hole into the side of the plastic liner and voila! Suction solved. It’s important that you drill the hole on the side of the plastic liner and not the bottom so that your liner can still contain any leaks that may occur.
Achieve The Perfect Caulk Edge Using Tape
If you’ve ever attempted to use caulk but couldn’t figure out how to achieve that perfect straight edge, then pick up some painter’s tape next time you go to the hardware store.
Unlike with paint, the trick is to remove the painter’s tape while the caulk is still wet. If the caulk starts to dry, you might end up pulling up some of the dried caulk, leaving a less than perfect line.
Keep A Bread Clip On You
After finishing a loaf of bread, don’t throw out the clip for its bag. As it turns out, they have a few more uses than you might not have expected. They can be used to keep headphones from tangling, attached to different objects to help identify them, They can even be used as guitar picks.
Unscrew A Broken Lightbulb With A Potato
Have you ever broken a light bulb while it’s still in the socket? If so, you know how frustrating it can be to remove it. But, you can use a potato to get it out without cutting your fingers.
Cut the potato in half, push the soft side into the broken bulb and turn it counterclockwise until the broken glass is embedded into the potato. Don’t forget to turn off the power and put on protective gloves before you attempt this hack!
Use A Rubber Band To Remove Stripped Screws
Place a rubber band over the head of the screw before trying to remove it with a screwdriver. That will add extra friction, allowing you to remove that stubborn stripped screw with ease.
Patch Nail Holes With A Bar Of Soap
This is yet another simple trick to easily fill those unsightly nail holes in your walls. Rub a basic bar of white soap in a counterclockwise circular motion over the hole. If the soap leaves a little residue on the wall, just use a warm wet cloth to wipe it off.
Quiet Squeaky Floors With Baby Powder
If you have a few squeaky floor boards, it’s probably because pieces of wood are rubbing together. To fix the issue, try filling a small squeeze bottle (such as the kind you’d get with an at-home hair dye kit) with baby powder. Squeeze the powder in between the boards, and then use a makeup brush to push the powder down in the crack.
Repair Dents In Wood With A Hot Iron
You can quickly and safely remove small dents in furniture and hardwood floors with an iron. Wet the indentation with a small amount of water and place a moist towel over it. Then run the iron over the area in a circular motion.
Remove Marker Or Crayon Scribbles On Walls With WD-40
If your paint has a sheen, you can use WD-40 to easily wipe off markings from crayons or markers. However, if you try to use this trick on matte or flat paints, the oil in the WD-40 can stain the walls, making matters worse. In that case, you should try a Magic Eraser.
Clean Grout With Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Apply toilet bowl cleaner to the grout and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then scrub with a small cleaning brush or toothbrush. Finally, mop the area with warm water and prepare to be amazed.
Spot A Toilet Leak Using Kool-Aid
If you suspect a leaky toilet, use a 20-cent packet of Kool-Aid to find out. After removing the lid of the toilet tank, pour in the contents of a dark-colored Kool-Aid packet.
Wait 30 minutes, and if you return to find the inside of your toilet bowl the same color as the Kool-Aid, then you’ll know you have a leak. Just make sure that you don’t flush your toilet while you wait for the Kool-Aid to work its magic.
Treat A Smelly Garbage Can With Bread And Vinegar
Even if you line your trash cans with bags, chances are they’ll start to smell after awhile. One easy fix is to pour vinegar over a slice of bread, then drop it into the bottom of your trash can overnight. Remove it the next morning before you put in a fresh garbage bag and see if you notice the difference! Try adding a paper towel or sheet of parchment paper underneath the bread for easier cleanup.
Clean Your Oven Door With A Dishwasher Cleaning Tablet
It seems too good to be true, but you can use a dishwasher tablet to clean the baked-on grease from your oven door. Make sure to wear gloves (the tablets contain bleach) and to wet — but not soak — the tablet before using it to scrub away the grime.
Use Dawn In The Washing Machine
If you’re running low on laundry detergent, you can actually use Dawn dish soap as a replacement. Only use a tablespoon and put it onto a dry rag which you then put directly into the wash. Then add in some detergent or a laundry pod as normal. It’s not a full replacement, but it should help
Clean Your Bathtub With Dish Soap And A Broom
Save your back while you put dish soap and a brush to work cleaning your bathtub. The same soap that cuts grease on your dishes will tackle soap scum and mildew in the bathroom.
Use Common Household Ingredients To Unclog A Drain
A slow-draining sink, bathtub or shower is frustrating. Not only do you have to wait for the water to drain, but you’re left with a residue to clean up. Who wants that?
If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals to unclog your drain — or don’t have any on hand — you can follow the following DIY remedy: First, boil water and pour it down the drain. Then, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain (some DIYers recommend mixing in a 1/4 cup of salt) followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then flush again with hot water from the tap. Voila!
Use Shaving Cream And Bleach To Eradicate Grout Lines
Grout lines on your nice tile floors not only look bad, but they can really hard to clean up. As it turns out though, using some shaving cream can be a really helpful way to get rid of them. Combine equal parts shaving cream and bleach and apply it along the grout lines in your shower. The shaving cream thickens the bleach enough that it can sit vertically on the grout overnight. Then, in the morning, all you have to do is rinse and the mildew should be gone.
Use Your Phone While Wearing Gloves With Aluminum Foil
Once again, this isn’t quite a home repair tip, but it’s such a good hack we had to include it. If you live in a cold climate, you know the pain of wearing winter gloves while trying to use a touchscreen. You could shell out for those touchscreen-friendly gloves, or you could simply use aluminum foil. Simply wrap a bit of foil around all the fingers you need to use on your phone screen and voila!
Keep Your Windshield From Frosting Up
For people that live in colder climates, waking up with a frosted over windshield is really annoying. However, you can avoid this with this simple trick. Just put a long piece of cardboard over your windshield. Dew can’t gather on your windshield that way and it can’t freeze as a result.
Cleaning The Blender
Ordinarily, cleaning a blender involves taking out all of the individual pieces and cleaning then individually. It can be an annoying process that might make someone not even want to use their blender. But here’s a simple fix. Put soapy water inside of the blender, put it all together, then run it for about 10 seconds. The soap will help clean out the blender and all the pieces for you. Then you just need to rinse it out and you’ll be fine.
Lowering Your Water Bill
If your water bill’s just a bit higher than average, this is a good way to lower those costs. Sometimes, the problem is just that your toilet bowl refills with too much water. Put something large like a brick in the tank to disperse some of that water. The tank won’t fill up as much and you’ll get to save money.
Getting Sand Out Of Your Bag
People love going to the beach, but whenever you come back there’s always sand in the most annoying of places for weeks on end. And that’s where the lint roller comes in. This is already a must have tool if you have a furry pet, so there’s a good chance you’ll already have one lying around. Just use the lint roller on the inside (or outside) of your bag and it’ll stick all of the sand to its surface.
Pool Noodles In Boots
If you leave your boots just lying around for too long they’ll flop over and lose their shape. However, if you have some pool noodles, you can put those inside the boots to keep them upright. They’ll last much longer that way.
A lot of people prefer to just to dump out their Chinese food onto a plate and then eat it that way. But did you know that those take-out containers are actually designed to fold out into plates. Just carefully unfold it and you’ll have a plate for all you food. Plus, you won’t have to worry about running the dishwasher.
Organizing Jumbled Up Cables
Dealing with chords and cables can be very annoying. Even if you curl them up, they can easily fall apart and leave you right back where you started. However, there’s something that you probably have an abundance of in your house that you just keep throwing away: toilet paper tubes. Not only can you slide your curled cables into a tube to keep them together, but you can label them so you know what each one is for.
Emergency Toothbrush Holder
Your bathroom counter is riddled with germs, so it’s never a good idea to put your toothbrush directly on it. Sometimes you may just not own a toothbrush holder, but there’s a good alternative. Take a clothespin and put it on the neck of the toothbrush, then you can put it down. The toothbrush will stay off of the counter indefinitely.
Emergency To-Go Cup
Got a drink you want to finish but have to get out the door? All you need is a straw and some Press n’ Seal. Put the Press n’ Seal over the top of the cup or glass around the straw. You can still drink from the cup and spilling will be much less of a worry.
Bad Eggs And Good Eggs
Not exactly for home repair, but it’s never a bad idea to know what’s safe to eat. Sometimes you buy a carton of eggs and just forget to use all of them. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to tell if an egg is still good or not. Place the egg in a glass full of water. If it sinks, then the egg’s still good. If it floats, then trash it.
Sore Throat Remedy
This is another one that’s not explicitly for home repair, but it’s still a really helpful bit of information. Did you know that marshmallows can be used to soothe a sore throat. It’d certainly be more fun and tasty to pop a few marshmallows than to suck on a lozenge.
Buff Out A Scratch With Toothpaste
If you scratch your kitchen table or some other nice piece of furniture, don’t worry about going out to get some kind of expensive product. You can use toothpaste instead. Take some non-gel toothpaste and rub it on the scratch until it buffs out. Then just clean it up with a damp towel.
Got Leg Cramps? Try Sleeping With Soap
While this is another one that isn’t quite a home repair hack, it is a home remedy that many people swear by. And like many home remedies, it’s one that science can’t quite prove or explain. The problem? Cramping or restless legs disrupting your sleep. The fix? Placing a bar of soap under your fitted sheet. Experts guess that the reason this works may be due to the placebo effect — or possibly due to the presence of magnesium in soap. There isn’t consensus about which type or brand of soap works best, so you may want to test out a few different bars to find out which one (if any) works for you.
Replace Bad Smells With Scent Of lemons
Lemons are particularly useful when it comes to cleaning. Take some lemon juice, mix it with boiling water, then pour it down the drain of your sink. You’ll have you sink smelling lemony fresh in no time.
Clean Out Your Pipes With Bleach
Sometimes, warm water and soap might not be enough to keep your pipes clean. If the smell wafting up from the pipes becomes unbearable, or if there’s otherwise a clog, you can use bleach. Once a month, pour 12 ounces of bleach straight down the drain at the end of the day. This’ll clean out any muck and remove any clogs. Don’t let it sit in your sink’s basin, and especially don’t use bleach if you’ve recently washed your sink with ammonia. The following morning, run some water from the faucet down the pipes to flush out any leftover bleach.
Add Tea Bags To A Sink Full Of Dirty Dishes
Ironically, the same chemicals — tannins — that cause tea to stain cups over time can also be used to clean dishes. If you have a sink full of greasy dishes, BobVila suggests you fill it up with hot water and about a dozen used tea bags before you take to scrubbing. The astringent properties in tea tannins can help cut grease. If you have just one greasy pot to clean, adding hot water and just a couple tea bags should do the trick.
Use Aluminum Foil To Fight Static In Your Dryer
If you run out of dryer sheets or prefer not to use them on your clothes, simply ball up a few pieces of aluminum foil instead. This’ll cut down on static that clothes drying can produce and also help keep the items apart for faster drying.
Your Tape Measure Can Help You Find Studs
If you take a close look at the tape measure or measuring tape you have at home, you’ll notice some numbers are in red while the rest are black. Or, depending on the brand, you may notice small black diamonds at intervals on the tape. These markers are put there to help you find the studs and the space between the studs in the walls of your home.
Based on the way most homes are built, the studs are a certain distance apart (16 inches). The numbers in red should match up to where the studs in your wall sit. The black diamonds on the measuring tape are set 19.2 inches apart, so they should help you find the space between studs without requiring a stud finder (though it couldn’t hurt to use one at first to double-check!).
Use Aluminum Foil As A Funnel
No funnel? No problem. Form foil into a cone shape and problem solved!
Remove Rust From Chrome With Foil
Another nifty use of aluminum foil is clearing rust off of a chrome surface. Merry Maids cleaning service recommends cleaning the surface first with a microfiber towel and soapy water, then dipping your aluminum foil into clean water before rubbing it on the rust.
Prevent Doors From Rattling Or Slamming With A Cabinet Door Bumper
It’s amazing how the simplest things can have such a big impact—and this little hack is a prime example. By placing an inexpensive cabinet door bumper on the doorjamb, you can prevent a door from rattling or slamming. The same goes for drawers that slam closed.
Clean Stains Off Utensils Using A Magic Eraser
Sometimes, running things through the dishwasher just doesn’t cut it. As long as the stained utensil isn’t made of stainless steel (Magic Eraser is not recommended for use on stainless steel), using this magical product should remove discoloration. You also should be sure to rinse any food-related items well after cleaning with a Magic Eraser.
Use A Magic Eraser To Clean Stained Walls
If you have yet to try this hack, you must. Stained or discolored walls are no match for a Magic Eraser. Score another point for this magical tool!
Use Tennis Balls To Open Containers
Need help getting a grip on your jar of pickles? Cut along the lines of the tennis ball to get the perfect opener. You will be shocked how well this works.
Prevent A Door From Shutting With A Rubber Band
If you’re doing something such as bringing in groceries, let a single rubber band lend you a hand. By looping it over both sides of the door knob, it will be in the perfect place to prevent the door from latching.
Fix A Tear In A Screen With Clear Nail Polish
Small tears in a screen can be quickly fixed with a few drops of clear nail polish, which acts as an invisible glue.
Treat Carpet Dents With Ice Cubes
Place an ice cube on the dented area of your carpet and let it melt. As the water is absorbed into the carpet, it should start to spring back to normal. After the carpet is completely dry, use a hard-bristled brush to fluff any areas that are still dented.
Give Your Shower Head A Vinegar “Bath”
Remove mineral deposits and other grime from your shower head by simply soaking it overnight in vinegar.
Use A Foam Pool Noodle As A Garage Wall Bumper
Cut a pool noodle in half and screw it into your garage wall at the height where your car door hits. This easy hack, as shown on Reddit, will protect both your wall and your car door from getting banged up. You’ll want to slice the noodle in half first for easier installation against the wall.
Remove Pet Hair From Carpet With A Squeegee
You’d be surprised how well a squeegee can remove pet hair from carpet. Give it a try!
Rotate Your Ceiling Fans Correctly
Changing the rotation of your ceiling fan can save you heating and cooling costs. Fans should turn clockwise, at a low speed, during the winter to pull the warm air up and around the room. During the summer, set them to counterclockwise to push the cold air down. While a fan won’t actually change the temperature of the room, the warm or cool air on your skin will make you feel warmer or colder and you’ll be more likely to give your thermostat a break. Note: Most fans have a switch that can be flipped to change direction, while newer models offer the option on the wall panel.
Use 2 Common Ingredients To Clean Grout
You may think that discolored, dirty grout is unavoidable or can only be cleaned with harsh chemicals. But hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can also be used to make your tile grout look as good as new. Bob Vila, the home improvement icon himself, recommends a mixture of 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to clean your grout on the cheap. For especially grimy areas, just let the mixture sit for a few minutes before scrubbing.
Winterize Windows With Bubble Wrap
Fixing a window that bleeds heat doesn’t need to be complicated. Wet the window with a little water, then stick bubble wrap to the glass and voila! You have a low-cost DIY fix that’ll help keep heat in and the cold out. This isn’t the most sightly look for your home, so this trick is best used for out of the way windows like those in a guest room or basement.
Prevent Clogged Drains From Forming
Why not save yourself the headache of unclogging a drain by preventing it from clogging in the first place? The TubShroom is so effective it’s gained a cult following on Amazon. The product’s mushroom design catches hair and keeps it out of sight until you clean it.
Use Cooking Spray To Fix A Squeaky Door Or Cabinet
If you don’t have a can of WD-40 handy, no need to fret. Cooking spray will also work wonders on those squeaky doors or cabinets. Spray just a little on the hinges, and you should be squeak-free in no time.
Spray Your Plants With Dissolved Aspirin
Numerous studies have found that plants treated with an aspirin solution are heartier and more pest-resistant. Simply dissolve one tablet of aspirin for every gallon of water and spray throughout your garden every 2-4 weeks.
Paint Screws With Nail Polish To Prevent Them From Coming Loose
It’s amazing what a thin coat of nail polish can do! By painting a screw with nail polish, which acts like glue, it is more likely to stay in place.
Kill Garden Pests With Hydrogen Peroxide
While we love hydrogen peroxide for all the ways it can make our lives easier, bugs aren’t huge fans of it. If pests are wrecking your garden, you can keep them in check by simply spraying some hydrogen peroxide on the soil and the plants themselves, just be sure to use the common, 3% concentration variety.
Revive A Scorched Pot With 3 Simple Ingredients
The blogger at Centsable Momma swears by a method of restoring burnt pots to their former glory by using three items you probably already have handy: hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and aluminum foil. She recommends covering the burnt area with baking soda before spraying hydrogen peroxide on it to form a paste. After leaving the paste for several hours, you can scrub it away with some foil!
Move Heavy Appliances Using Windex
If you need to slide a heavy appliance out of a tight space in your kitchen or laundry room, you can “grease the wheels” with everyone’s favorite blue liquid. Liberally spraying some Windex on the floor in front of whatever you’re trying to move will help you easily scoot it around without making scuff marks or breaking your back. Because of the ammonia in Windex, hardwood floors wouldn’t be ideal for this trick.
Clean Your Grill With An Onion
If you find yourself without a grill brush, using half an onion as an alternative to a grill brush is a tried-and-tested hack. Stick a fork in half of an onion and glide it up and down the grill grates. The onion has enough heft and texture to break up grill gunk.
Line Your Potted Plants With Coffee Filters
If you’re tired of sweeping soil off your patio, there’s a simple solution. Before you fill your pots with soil, line the bottoms with coffee filters. The filters will keep soil in the pots while still allowing water to drain out of the hole in the bottom.
Clean Your Microwave Without Scrubbing
Clean the microwave without having to do a lot of scrubbing. Simply pour equal parts water and vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl and then microwave it for about 7 minutes. The steam will help loosen any debris, making it easier to wipe away.
Amplify Music With This Neat Trick
Broken speaker? No problem. Make a stand-in speaker by placing your phone inside a bowl or glass. The sound waves will bounce off the side, making it louder.
De-Ice A Frozen Lock With Hand Sanitizer
The alcohol in hand sanitizer will melt the ice off of a frozen lock — whether on your car, home or elsewhere. Other ways to de-ice frozen locks in a pinch include breathing warm air onto the door handle, warming your key with a lighter or applying some WD-40.
Use A Potato To Keep Food From Sticking To Your Grill
The starch in a potato can create a natural nonstick surface on your grill. Simply stick a fork in a section of a potato and rub it over the grates of your grill once it’s warmed up. This’ll save you the headache of trying to pry cooked food from the surface when it’s time to flip.
Fix A Clogged Printer Cartridge With Windex
If you’ve got a clogged printer cartridge, you can easily clean it with some Windex to delay the need for buying an expensive new one. Just spray some Windex on a paper towel before wiping the bottom of the cartridge, where the ink comes out, against the wet surface. You should see streaks of ink on the paper towel when the job is done.
Pour Hot Water Over A Propane Tank To See How Full It Is
Not sure how much propane you have left in your tank? There’s a safe and easy way to check before you fire up the grill. Boil a cup of water then pour it over the side of the tank. Then, feel the tank. The point where it goes from hot (empty) to cool (filled with propane) is your propane level.
Use Bread To Protect Hands From Broken Glass
If you find yourself with broken glass scattered across the floor, don’t pick it up with your hand and risk cutting yourself. Use a slice of bread! The bread will latch onto both small and big shards of glass, making it a safer way to clean up an accident.
Peel A Whole Head Of Garlic Using The Microwave
Okay, this is another one that isn’t really a home repair hack, but if you love garlic then you know the struggle of peeling it. Save yourself some time by placing individual cloves on a plate or paper towel and microwaving them for about 20 seconds. The skins will slide right off.
Prevent That Moldy Smell In Your Washing Machine With Baking Soda And Vinegar
It’s a good idea to clean your washing machine every so often; some experts advise as often as once a month, especially if you have a front loader. If you have a front loader, set it to the longest cycle and hottest water temperature. Pour three cups of white vinegar directly into the drum, then pour one cup of baking soda into the detergent well to ensure the well, internal hoses, and other areas are flushed as the mixture is added during the cycle. Wipe the rubber gasket dry once the cycle has completed, leaving the door open so the entire machine can air out.
If you have a top loader, pour five cups of white vinegar directly into the drum, then two cups of baking soda into the water. With gloves on, dip a sponge or other cleaning tool into the water mixture and scrub the detergent well. Close the top and let the cycle run fully. When it’s complete, wipe the drum clean and leave the door open to air out.
Clean And Soften Paint Brushes With WD-40
Have you ever let a used paint brush dry without cleaning it? You’re not alone. WD-40 can help soften and remove paint, even after it dries. It can also clean spray paint nozzles, remove paint from shoes and help you open stuck paint can lids. You can also spray some on your doorknobs before you start painting to keep them clean and paint-free.
Use Salt And A Potato To Clean Cast Iron
You may have read that you shouldn’t use soap when cleaning cast iron appliances because it’ll remove the seasoning on the pan that keeps food from sticking to it too much. But here’s an interesting way to make sure you get all the gunk off your dirty cast iron. After you’ve gently scraped off as much of the food stuck on the pan, pour in some coarse salt and use a cut potato to scour away at the pan. This technique will safely remove stuck-on food. You can then re-season the cast iron by oiling and heating it up in an oven. But you only have to do this every now and then. Otherwise, just rub some oil on the pan after the salt and potato step.